Cities in Asia-Pacific Ahead in the Race of Short-term Economic Momentum

According to a report, cities in Asia have the strongest short-term economic and real estate market momentum.

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There are many factors that affect the urban growth pattern of a city. Many cities are undergoing technological innovation to foster development at a fast pace. When it comes to showcasing urbanization, Asia surely takes the cake.


According to real estate consultancy JLL's City Momentum Index 2019, Asia- Pacific is home to 19 of the top 20 cities in this year's list as urban growth continues to shift away from the West to the East with Indian and Chinese cities dominating the rankings. Vietnam, the Philippines and Thailand are also represented. There are no cities in either Europe or the America in the Top 20. Only one city outside of Asia-Pacific (Nairobi) ranks in the 20 most dynamic cities in the globe and even in this region there is a powerful Asian influence with significant amounts of investment from China focused mainly on infrastructure projects.

"Cities that are growing quickly tend to punch above their weight in attracting companies and people. However, this can often lead to challenges - such as social inequality, congestion and environmental degradation - that must be addressed to ensure short-term growth transitions into longer-term momentum," the report states.

The JLL Index covers 131 major established and emerging markets and identifies cities that have the strongest short-term economic and real estate market momentum.

Technology & Innovation Transforming Asia

A common theme this year is that many of the top performing cities have strong links to the technology and innovation sector. The technology sector is a key driver of both real estate and economic momentum, and is propelled not only by the large dominant tech firms but also by a robust startup culture. The report adds that Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ho Chi Minh City, Shenzhen and Nairobi have all cultivated a thriving startup culture, which has helped to push them up the rankings.

India vs China

Bengaluru in first place globally has an established reputation worldwide for the design and development of technology and electronics. Along with attracting many international companies, it has a vibrant startup culture; it is home to five of India's eight unicorns (companies valued over $1 billion).

The report indicates that a new system of Chinese cities is evolving of truly global scale, where momentum is more and more dependent on levels of innovation, entrepreneurship and liveability. They are home to a new breed of energetic tech-savvy firms that are extending their global footprints, facilitated by China's ambitious "Belt and Road Initiative'.

"However, China's cities are certainly not without their challenges, with environmental and transparency issues affecting their global competitiveness, while growing international linkages have increased their vulnerability to global trade tensions. Progress is nonetheless being made on several fronts: pollution is now falling in many cities as China's government introduces radical measures to reduce emissions; and real estate transparency is steadily improving, with its premier cities – Beijing and Shanghai – on the cusp of joining the ranks of the world's "Transparent' real estate markets," the report elucidates.